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Stock Downgrades: Goldman No Longer Hearts Hershey's Kisses


Wall Street ratings agencies set the tone for today's stock market.

Well, that will have had chins-a-wagging (as it were) in Silicon ValleyNasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) arrested its recent tech wreck, ably assisted by strong showings from northern Californian trio Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO), and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG). Their shares rose a respective 2.18%, 2.30%, and 3.11%. Although -- much like Kim Kardashian's uplifted images from the search king -- such gains may not be all that they appear. A day after Mattel (NASDAQ:MAT) incurred a rating reduction amid Hot Wheels concerns, Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) -- which knows all about fire -- jumped 3.83%. The car company's stock had been cooling off ever since it incongruously unveiled titanium as a cure for flames; clearly, Mr. Musk still has a fairway to go on that score. And "experts" who attest that America has an unaddressed obesity epidemic -- already on standing on shaky ground -- may need to wait even longer for the facts to fit their theory. This, as Weight Watchers (NYSE:WTW) surged 2.73% even while it was alleged that an Ivy League student risked expulsion for failing to pile on the pounds.
Today in economics, wholesale inventories for February are expected to come in essentially unchanged at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. At 2:00 p.m., the Federal Open Market Committee releases minutes to its March 19 meeting. On the earnings front, Apogee Enterprises (NASDAQ:APOG), Bed, Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ:BBBY), Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ), and Ruby Tuesday (NYSE:RT) all report results.
Aeropostale (NYSE:ARO): The clothing company is tumbling 2.74% today after getting taken to Underweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray.
Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE:ANR): The coal name is slashed to Sell from Neutral at UBS. Its price objective, previously $5, falls to $3.
Apache (NYSE:APA): Deutsche Bank downgrades the energy outfit to Hold from Buy.
BMW Group (OTCMKTS:BAMXY): The German car giant gets downgraded to Perform from Outperform by Sanford Bernstein.
BT Group (NYSE:BT): Bernstein takes the British telecom titan to Perform from Outperform.
Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS): The bank is now Underweight from Neutral at JPMorgan.
First Niagara (NASDAQ:FNFG): Barclays reduces the regional financial firm by an unusual 180 degrees, all the way to Underweight from Overweight. Its target price is also trimmed, by $2 to $9.
General Motors (NYSE:GM): More analyst-inflicted agony for the firm, whose shares are tumbling another 2% today after getting moved to Underweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley.
Hershey (NYSE:HSY): Goldman Sachs slashes the confectionary company to Sell from Neutral.
JMP Group (NYSE:JMP): The investment outfit gets cut to Perform from Outperform at Keefe Bruyette. Its price objective, preciously $8, is now $7.25.
John Wiley & Sons (NYSE:JW.A): The publisher of For Dummies gets downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel due to an excessive valuation.
NASDAQ (NASDAQ:NDAQ): The stock, fresh from Tuesday's 2.74% tumble, is lowered to Neutral from Buy at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch.
PerkinElmer (NYSE:PKI): ISI Group gives the company a Neutral-from-Buy downgrade ($49 target) amid reduced upside potential.
Walter Energy (NYSE:WLT): Shares in the commodity company are slashed to Sell from Neutral at UBS.

Also see:

New Stock Coverage: Mondelez International -- Awful Name, Awful Investment?

Stock Upgrades: Mother Merrill Not About to Abandon Her E-Trade Babies
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